Jordan Pickford only England player named in Nations League team of the tournament

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England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been named in the Nations League team of the tournament.

The Everton shot-stopper was the only member of Gareth Southgate’s squad to make it into the XI based on UEFA’s FedEx Performance Zone.

Pickford produced a string of fine saves in England’s 3-1 extra-time semi-final defeat to the Netherlands on Thursday and then picked up the man-of-the-match award on Sunday.

The third-place play-off against Switzerland ended 0-0 after 120 minutes and the 25-year-old shone in the penalty shoot-out, scoring his attempt before denying Josip Drmic to seal a 6-5 triumph.

Former Newcastle right-back Kevin Mbabu was named in defence, while ex-Middlesbrough man Marten de Roon joined Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva – named player of the tournament – in midfield.

Memphis Depay and Cristiano Ronaldo – two former Manchester United players – were named as forwards of the XI, which included highly-rated Dutch pair Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.

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Barcelona-bound Frenkie de Jong has quiet night as Dutch dimmed by pristine Portugal

Matt Jones 10/06/2019
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The Netherlands are an exciting prospect in world football, but flattered to deceive as they were well beaten by Portugal in the inaugural Nations League final.

The 1-0 scoreline might not seem convincing but this was about as dominant a performance as you could see from Cristiano Ronaldo and Co, with the reigning European champions always on top.

They had 18 shots compared to the Netherlands’ four and Goncalo Guedes’ blistering strike on the hour was no more than they deserved.

Here we rate the players following a blunt Dutch display.

NETHERLANDS (4-3-3)

Jasper Cillessen 6: Perhaps will feel he didn’t cover himself in glory for Guedes’ opener on his 50th cap, but it was fiercely hit. Otherwise faultless.

Denzel Dumfries 6: Overcame a difficult beginning and tried to influence game going forward after break, but given a torrid time by incisive Portugal forwards.

Virgil van Dijk 6: Largely imperious although Portugal’s increasing stranglehold left Dutch exposed at back and he was all at sea for only goal. Led side with four aerials won.

Matthijs de Ligt 8: Thundered into a few early challenges. Immaculate tackle thwarted Silva and led Dutch with six clearances. Such a mature player, but attackers let him down.

Daley Blind 8: Committed and fearless, had to be in face of rampant Portuguese onslaught. Led Dutch in tackles (4) and, oddly, key passes (2). Stoic, might have conceded penalty for clumsy tackle on Mourinho.

Georginio Wijnaldum 6: Kept Dutch ticking along with some nice touches and diligent defensive work. Had blushes spared by offside flag and gave ball away more than expected.

Marten de Roon 4: Couple of lazy misplaced passes gave Portugal upper hand. Faded but somehow stayed on. Flashed one chance just over late on.

Frenkie de Jong 5: Few nice touches and passes and 94.6 pass accuracy led Dutch, but struggled to exert his considerable talent on proceedings as he was pinned back by Portugal press.

Steven Bergwijn 7: Hesitated at crucial moment as he pounced on Fernandes’ errant early pass. Excellent chase and tackle to dispossess marauding Guedes.

De Ligt was a rare shining light for the Dutch.

De Ligt was a rare shining light for the Dutch.

Memphis Depay 5: His side’s focal point but was frustratingly kept at arm’s length. Didn’t seem able to find key to unlock air-tight defence, faded badly and was wasteful in second half.

Ryan Babel 4: Hardly had a kick as Portugal enjoyed bulk of possession and pushed defensive line up to stifle Dutch creativity. Hooked at half-time.

SUBS

Quincy Promes 5: Introduced for wretched Babel but hardly offered any more incision. Poor delivery from out wide.

Donny van de Beek 6: Would surely have started in a major tournament clash, was typically bright and busy when introduced.

Luuk de Jong N/A: Completely transformed the Dutch approach, earning a corner with an improvised header before sending another poorly wide.

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Bernardo Silva puts in golden performance as Portugal lift Nations League crown

Matt Jones 10/06/2019
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Portugal were crowned the inaugural Nations League winners after a dominant display against a disappointing Dutch side in Porto.

The 1-0 scoreline might not seem convincing but this was about as dominant a performance as you could see, with the reigning European champions almost always comfortable.

They had 18 shots compared to the Netherlands’ four and Goncalo Guedes’ blistering strike on the hour was no more than they deserved.

Here we rate the Portugal players.

PORTUGAL (4-3-3)

Rui Patricio 7: Terrific stop from Wijnaldum, he had no idea Liverpool midfielder was offside. Then genuinely thwarted his header and also kept Luuk de Jong’s effort out.

Nelson Semedo 6: Speedy Barcelona right-back failed to have much say on proceedings but at least had a fairly impressive evening, jointly led side with three tackles and 92.6 per cent pass accuracy was second best.

Ruben Dias 7: Excellent tackle stopped barrelling Bergwijn in his tracks. A powerful, stoic presence, who made six clearances and rarely looked troubled. Would have impressed any watching Man United scouts.

Jose Fonte 7: Saw best initial sight of goal but header from corner was tame. Commanding presence even at 35, winning team-high six aerials.

Raphael Guerreiro 7: Lively on the left, eagerly bombing forward. Excellent work of midfielders allowed him to roam and give Holland headaches at the back.

Bruno Fernandes 6: Bright start but sloppy pass almost let Bergwijn in. Then stung Cillessen’s palms before testing him again later on. Busy throughout, with three key passes, which will excite United fans.

Danilo Pereira 6: Went about his work with minimum fuss and effort alongside Carvalho. His 93.1 per cent pass accuracy led Portugal.

William Carvalho 7: Diligently patrolled middle third and actively drove his side on as they stifled the creators in blue shirts. Kept tight reign on De Jong and Co.

Bernardo Silva 9: Twinkle-toed schemer as important as Ronaldo, always thinking a few seconds ahead. Was a constant menace as he drove and picked holes in Dutch defence – led way with five key passes, one of which set up Guedes.

Cristiano Ronaldo 8: Flashed a fizzing header at Cillessen, but was offside. Always at the heart of his side’s forays forward, even if he never had a clear sight of goal. Even got back to help defence.

Goncalo Guedes 7: Buzzed around and probed, rifling a rocket of a shot home for the opener, giving Cillessen little chance. Enjoyed gaps opening up in second 45.

SUBS

Rafa Silva 7: Replaced goalscorer Guedes and immersed himself in the action, a thorn in the Dutch side.

Joao Moutinho N/A: Veteran came on to win 115th cap, and almost won a penalty.

Ruben Neves N/A: Brought on just to waste time.

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